Close to a year after Google's acquisition of YouTube for a whopping $1.65 billion, Google has announced that testing of a new advertising format for YouTube has begun with a small number of advertisers.
So, there you have it! Google is finally attempting to cash in on the 130 million YouTube subscribers after all. And from what we can see, Google might actually succeed in pulling it off.
Google's YouTube will feature ads that are similar to a model used by TV broadcasters for years, the company said Tuesday. TV viewers have grown accustomed to watching a show and seeing the image of David Letterman or some other star walk across the bottom of the screen as part of a promotion...
... [YouTube's] commercials, which are produced through Flash animation, appear at the bottom of a video, are mostly transparent and disappear after 10 seconds. Once the ad appears, a user has the option of clicking on it while the video pauses. The viewer is then taken to a "player within the player" where he or she is encouraged to interact with the advertiser's content. When the person clicks out of the ad, the video resumes.
YouTube's mini commercials ignores the long-held belief of marketing gurus that ads can only appear either before or after the video where a video-sharing site is concerned.
Shashi Seth, YouTube's group product manager, said the company took pains to prevent the ads from annoying the viewer. The succinct points:
- The ad appears 15 seconds into a video, but vanishes after a 10-second run
- So far, tests reveal the new ads produce click-through rates 5 to 10 times higher than traditional display ads
- 75 percent of users who click the overlay ad come back and continue watching the video
- Ads are inserted into a select inventory of video clips that are screened for appropriateness